Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 are no longer supported. Please use a newer browser.
Concourse works best with JavaScript enabled.
Lansing Community College logo

Main · Arts and Sciences · Social Sci and Humanities Dept

Abnormal Psychology

  • Spring 2021
  • Section 51956
  • 3 Credits
  • 01/26/2021 to 05/10/2021
  • Modified 02/24/2021


A survey of the nature, development, diagnosis, and treatment of psychopathology viewed from a general-systems perspective (psychological, sociological, and biological). Major theories of causes, scientific research, and diagnostic and therapeutic techniques are studied with respect to various psychological disorders. (F,Sp,Su)


Prerequisite Courses: Minimum 2.0 in PSYC 200
Placement Scores: Reading Level 5
Recommended: Writing Level 6 or Minimum 2.0 in ENGL 121 or ENGL 131

Contact Hours







Total Hrs



Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the various facets of abnormal behavior, such as atypical behavior, personally and/or socially distressing thoughts/behavior, and culturally deviant thoughts/behavior
  2. Discuss the causality and treatment proposed by each of the major models of psychopathology (psychodynamic, learning, and biological theories/treatment) for the major mental disorders, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, addictive disorders, dissociative disorders, somatoform disorders, eating and sleep disorders, paraphilias, and psychotic disorders
  3. Identify the major mental disorders categorized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - 5


Online Educational Resource (referred to as OER)

  • Author: Thrasher, D., & McKeown, K
  • ISBN: 0205965016 or 978020596179
  • Availability: Online
  • Price: Free

Use of online text is required 

Link here:

(Students may also consult alternatively if they wish the textbook Abnormal Psychology in A Changing World by Nevid, Rathus and Greene, 9th or 10th edition)

The OER  includes multiple sources of information including videos. Some but not all of these will be utilized in for our class.  Follow the instructions outlined in each section to see which parts of the OER to study for assignments and quizzes. Instructor developed powerpoints will also be provided in D2L to highlight relevant material.

The link again is: OER for Abnormal Psychology


Student Electronic Access to Grades

D2L is the College’s Course Management System which includes a gradebook function allowing students access to their grades in order to receive timely and meaningful feedback on their progress in the course at any time. These grades will align with the Evaluation Criteria listed in this syllabus. D2L is accessed through the MyLCC page.

Whenever practicable, results for graded items should be posted electronically within 48 hours after the instructor has completed the grading process for the items, and final grades for the course should be entered no later than the specified grading day.

Evaluation Criteria:

Semester Start Assignments:  This section has 3 parts.  First, you will be required to participate in a discussion forum in which you will be expected to introduce yourself and provide a little personal information so that we can all get to know our classmates.  In the forum you will be required to reply to at least two other students, preferably indicating something interesting you learned about them from their posting.  I want to make sure you all know how to navigate a discussion forum because we will be using it for topical discussions throughout the course.  As long as you put an honest effort into this task (i.e., you provide a reasonable two or three paragraphs) you will receive 10 points, i.e., full credit for this assignment.  Additional instructions can be found under the “Content” tab or “Discussion” tab on the Desire2learn course site. The second part of this section is the Syllabus Quiz which you will find under the “Content” and/or “Quizzes” tab as well. The third part is a brief Bio Survey which gives me helpful information to assist you as your instructor. (While it is optional and worth one bonus point, I hope you will take a few brief moments to complete it so that I can best assist individuals and adapt the course to student interests & needs.)

Quizzes: = 290 pts. This includes the syllabus quiz (10 pts.), plus 14 topic quizzes (14 x 20 pts. = 280 pts.)

Online Quizzes:  There will be 14 online quizzes; one for each of our topics, and each worth 20 points. Most of the quizzes have 20 - 35 questions.  They will be multiple choice quizzes, on the Desire2Learn course site, and you can take them as many times as you wish to, in order to get a good grade.  Although you will be able to use your OER text and instructor materials such as powerpoints on these quizzes, you will only hurt yourself if you do them in a superficial manner (i.e., just looking up the answers).  These will help prepare you for the final exam.  So, if you take them honestly, you will really know how comfortable you are with the information.  It is important to understand why your answers are correct, and also why the alternative answers are incorrect, rather than to just rely on memorization of facts. The use of the objectives/study questions provided will assist you in preparing and focusing your efforts.

Final Cumulative Exam: = 60 points. This is a final cumulative Exam (listed as Final Cumulative Exam in the quiz section of D2L) It is a multiple choice exam which covers the entire course. It will not simply be repeats of the quiz questions, although the content will be similar, which is why actually knowing the material & concepts covered will be important. IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the Coronavirus, the final exam will be taken online like your other quizzes - BUT  - you can take it only one time and it will be time-limited, so it will be important to prepare & review in advance your material

Activities: = 150 points.  This includes one Introductory Discussion Board (10 pts.) and 14  Discussion or Assignment Activities linked to the topic materials (14 x 10 pts. = 140 pts.)

Discussion Forums:  The discussion forums will focus on issues relevant to the chapter/topic we are exploring at the time.  Although the textbook will provide some information on these topics, I will post additional powerpoints, readings or websites on the Desire2Learn course site that will be additional to the material in to the text.  I will then post the question(s) in a discussion forum.  You will be required to post a response to the question(s), and then to respond to a posting by two of your classmates.  Each discussion forum is worth 10 points, and you will be graded as such: 5 points for submitting your response/s and 5 points for your replies to other students' posts.  Each aspect of your submission will be considered for grading as follows: you will receive 1 pt. for a meaningless response (for example:  Yes, I agree!), 2 pts. for simple and/or vague comments that are not clear, 5 pts. for good application of concepts, & interesting and insightful comments.  Most initial posts should be a few paragraphs long (10-15 sentences total) and responses should be at a bare minimum, 4 sentences long.)  Adequate length of posts and responses are also considered in grading. Full sentences with attention to grammar & spelling are expected. Thus, if you respond thoughtfully and with adequate length to the initial question/s and also with thoughtful depth and length to your classmates, you will receive all 10 pts. for the discussion question.  

Assignment Activities: These are writing assignments that will focus on the chapter or topic and are to be submitted thru the dropbox function. They will be worth 10 points and grading criteria will be provided for the assignments. The use of full sentences, and accurate spelling and grammar are expected to be components of all of your writings, whether in discussion boards, assignments or papers. 

See separate guidelines for journal/paper/presentation and penalties for late submissions.

Papers/Projects: = 100 points. This includes 2 assignments including application of theory papers and/or a paper and a presentation (2 x 50 pts each = 100 pts.) Requirements/Guidelines and grading criteria for each will be provided. 

Deductions for Late Submissions: Discussion Board assignments, other assignments or papers /projects will have an 20% deduction if submitted late. Additional deductions may be applied for items submitted more than 2 weeks late as posted. It is expected that students will contact the instructor in advance if a due date cannot be met, due to extreme, urgent, emergency circumstances. As  students have a week or more for all assignments, it is the student's responsibility to do work in advance to avoid unforeseen circumstances. 

*Extra Credit: Occasionally brief writing, survey or online activity assignments may be available for all students for extra credit. Extra credit is not available on an individual basis, or as a means of making up missing work. As students may take quizzes as often as desired, very few extra credit points will be provided, and in no event will they exceed 30. 

Point Summary:
Quizzes = 290

Final Exam = 60

Assignments = 150

Papers/Projects = 100

Total = 600 points


Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Assignments 25%

A total of 17 Activities (worth 5-10 points each) including Discussion Boards or Topic Assignments for a total of 150 points)

Topic Tests (listed as Quizzes) 48.33%

One syllabus quiz (10 pts.) and 14 topic quizzes at 20 points each, for a total of 290 points

Final Exam 10%

Final cumulative exam (listed under quiz section of D2L) worth 60 points.

Papers 16.67%

2 Application of Theory papers or one Application of Theory paper and one creative presentation/project. (As per Requirements & Guidelines to be provided.) Points to total 100



College Standard




College Grading Standards

Recommended Guidelines for Student Grades

4.0  --- Excellent

4.0     ---     91 – 100% = 546 - 600 points

3.5  --- ---------

3.5     ---     86 – 90% = 516 - 545 points

3.0  --- Good

3.0     ---     81 – 85% = 486 - 515 points

2.5  --- ---------

2.5     ---     76 – 80% = 456 - 485 points

2.0  --- Satisfactory

2.0     ---     71 – 75% = 426 - 455 points

1.5  --- ---------

1.5     ---     66 – 70% = 396 - 425 points

1.0  --- Poor

1.0     ---     60 – 65% = 360 - 395 points 

0.0  --- --------

0.0     ---       0 – 59% = 0 - 359 points 

Course Policies

Class Attendance/Participation

Participation is an important part of this class, and completion of assignments is an aspect of this.  Any student who does not complete the semester start activities and engage in the course during the first two weeks of the semester may be dropped via the college enrollment verification process.

Students are urged to contact the instructor in advance via email in the event that a quiz, assignment or exam due date is to be missed. However, merely contacting the instructor does not qualify as an excused absence. As students have a week or more to do the required tasks, it is the responsibility of students to do and submit work in advance of unexpected circumstances. Therefore, extensions will only be granted for extreme, urgent, unavoidable and documented circumstances.

If you miss information or course assignments provided, it is your responsibility to first review the syllabus and announcements and online info. in D2L prior to contacting the instructor. 


Harassment and Discrimination

LCC subscribes to an educational and work environment where everyone is treated with respect and dignity and therefore condemns insulting, degrading, and exploitive treatment of students and employees. The College is committed to maintaining a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of the campus community.
Moreover, Title IX prohibits sex discrimination to include sexual misconduct: sexual violence (sexual assault, rape), sexual harassment and retaliation. If you have been the victim of sexual misconduct I encourage you to report this matter promptly. As a faculty member, I am interested in promoting a safe and healthy environment, and should I learn of any sexual misconduct I must report the matter to the Title IX Coordinator. Should you want to report to a confidential source you may contact the following individuals:

• Christine Thompson, Student Title IX Coordinator (517) 483-9632
• Greg Mallek, Deputy Student Title IX Coordinator (517) 483-1622
• Lori Willett, SPHR, Employee Title IX Coordinator (517) 483-1979

                                ---- OR ----

You can report an incident directly by going to the following link: ( link has the procedures for Student Sexual Misconduct Complaints, a downloadable complaint form, and an online complaint form.
Limits to confidentiality. Essays, journals, and other materials submitted for this class are generally considered confidential pursuant to the College's student record policies. However, students should be aware that College employees, including instructors, may not be able to maintain confidentiality when it conflicts with their responsibility to report certain issues to protect the health and safety of LCC community members and others. As the instructor, I must report the following information to other College offices (including but not limited to the LCC Police and Public Safety) if you share it with me:
• Suspected child abuse/neglect.
• Allegations of sexual assault or sexual harassment when they involve LCC students, faculty, or staff, and
• Credible threats of harm to oneself or to others.
These reports may trigger contact from a campus official who will want to talk with you about the incident that you have shared. In almost all cases, it will be your decision whether you wish to speak with that individual. If you would like to talk about these events in a more confidential setting you are encouraged to make an appointment with the LCC Counseling Center (517-483-1924).

Policies on Attendance, Withdrawals and Incompletes

College policies are stated in the Lansing Community College Catalog and include attendance, withdrawals, and incomplete grades. Refer to the catalog at

A. Instructor’s policy on Withdrawals: The college policy will be followed for all withdrawals, which requires that persons who withdraw must follow the established procedures as noted in the policy (refer to excerpts of catalog).

B. Instructor’s policy on Incompletes: The instructor does not give incompletes unless there is an emergency that necessitates such an action. Also, at least 80% of the course work must have been completed before a request can be processed.

C. Last date for 100% refund: 2/1/2021

D. Last Date for 50% refund: Does not apply

E. Last Date to Drop with No Grade on Record: 2/8/2021

F. Last Date to Drop Course with Record of W & Last Date to Drop Online:  4/29/21

Classroom Policy on Respectful Behavior

Polite and respectful communications with the instructor and other students are expected. In communicating with me via email, please consider these as a professional type of communication, rather than using the abbreviated form of texting style communications. That is, emails should have a salutation or greeting and a closure and your name or signature. 

Please be respectful towards everyone in our class when discussing or writing comments in class by the instructor or your classmates. It is okay to seek further clarification about an idea, but do not let that carry over into a personal attack. As instructor for this course, I reserve the right to make the final decision on whether something is indeed unreasonably objectionable. Initially individuals making such comments will be warned that the statements, in my opinion, are offensive. If the behavior continues, standard college policy for removing a student from class will be initiated.

Netiquette (or network etiquette) refers to principles developed to express courtesy and help people communicate appropriately whenever interacting with each other. Please use standard "business English" (using complete words and sentences and avoid jargon, slang or abbreviations when communicating. Err on the side of politeness. State your opinions and support your argument or disagreement. Try to see the other person's point of view, even if you do not agree. Consider anything said in public forums (Web based applications in this course, D2L discussion forums, and when giving verbal feedback to other participants) to be public information. Do not post comments that may be considered controversial, abrasive, in poor taste or may reveal too much personal information - protect your privacy. Further resources for netiquette:

Institutional Policies

Academic Success Coaches

At Lansing Community College, student success is our top priority.  Our Academic Success Coaches mentor students to help them meet their educational, personal and career goals.  LCC faculty or staff may refer you to an Academic Success Coach if they recognize that mentoring or assistance may be helpful to you. Please monitor your LCC email for referral notifications.  Your participation in academic success coaching is voluntary.

In addition, we encourage you to contact an Academic Success Coach on your own if you need help, guidance or assistance to reach your goals.  To contact an Academic Success Coach, call (517) 483-1422, email [email protected], or visit the Academic Success Coaching Team website for more information.

Disability Statement

Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Center for Student Access, Gannon Building, Star Zone - Center for Student Support, via the Center for Student Access website, or by calling (517) 483-5323 as soon as possible to better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

Enrollment Verification

Class attendance and participation are essential to student success. Instructors will update class rosters by the 8th day after the start date of sections less than 8 weeks long, and by the 15th day after the start date of sections 8 weeks or longer to accurately reflect student enrollment in each course. Students who have not attended by these dates may be administratively dropped and responsible for any required tuition and fee charges.

Nondiscrimination Statement

Lansing Community College is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and equal education for all persons regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, creed, ancestry, height, weight, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, familial status, marital status, military status, veteran’s status, or other status as protected by law, or genetic information that is unrelated to the person’s ability to perform the duties of a particular job or position or that is unrelated to the person’s ability to participate in educational programs, courses services or activities offered by the college.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Equal Opportunity Officer, Washington Court Place, 309 N. Washington Square Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1730; Employee Coordinator 504/ADA, Administration Building, 610 N. Capitol Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1875; Student Coordinator 504/ADA, Gannon Building, 411 N. Grand Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1885; Sarah Velez, Human Resource Manager/Title IX Coordinator, Administration Building, 610 N. Capitol Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1874; Christine Thompson, Student Title IX Coordinator, Gannon Building, 411 N. Grand Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1261.

Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines

LCC supports a positive learning environment that provides opportunities for student success. The College recognizes the value and importance of a safe and orderly learning environment that encourages honesty, integrity, and ethical conduct. The Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines ensure the protection of student rights and the health and safety of the College community, as well as aid in the efficient operation of College programs. In addition, the College has established procedures for addressing reports of alleged violations.                 

It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with, and abide by, the Student Code of Conduct, as well as the General Rules and Guidelines. Furthermore, the instructor may establish reasonable guidelines within the classroom environment. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines may be reported to the Office of Student Compliance.

Transfer Potential

For transfer information, please consult the LCC Transfer webpage.  In addition, the Michigan Transfer Network website allows students the ability to search courses and discover how those courses transfer to colleges and universities statewide.

The Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) simplifies the transfer of students from one Michigan institution to another. For the most current information, see the LCC General Education webpage.

For additional transfer information contact the Academic Advising Center in the Gannon Building - Star Zone, (517) 483-1904.

Compliance with COVID-19 Safety Precautions

All students, employees and visitors have a part to play in keeping the LCC community safe.  Everyone entering campus is required to adhere to the safety measures as outlined on the Spring Refresh 2021 webpage. Reports of noncompliance will be submitted to the Student Compliance Office for appropriate action.  Students with questions or concerns should email [email protected].

Media Release Statement

Photographs, pictures, slides, movies, video, or other media coverage of students may be taken for College-related business, in connection with their enrollment or participation in LCC activities without compensation from LCC, its Trustees, officers, directors, employees, students and agents of each of them, and photographs, pictures, slides, movies, video, or other media coverage of students may be used for any legal purposes.

Additional Items

Honors Option

The honor’s option in psychology requires students to design and conduct an original research project.  The culmination of the project is the submission of a comprehensive APA-style report. The purpose of this project is to immerse the student in the scientific aspect of psychology and is designed for exceptional students who wish to pursue an intensive and independent research opportunity.   In order to take advantage of this option a student must have a 3.2 cumulative GPA and a minimum writing level of 6. 

The honor’s option is a five-step process: 

  1. Students must contact their professor within the first week of class and discuss their intention to complete the honor’s option. This contact must be done on the first day of class for variable length classes (i.e. 14-week, 12-week, and 8-week)
  2. Student must meet (at least once) with the faculty member to discuss their research ideas.  This meeting should take place no later than the 3rdweek of the semester (2nd week for a variable length class)
  3. Students will submit a written APA style research proposal.  A research proposal consists of a review of the literature relevant to their specific area of research, as well as a detailed description of the research design and methodology to be used for data collection. The faculty member must approve the research proposal before data collection can begin.   The research proposal must be submitted no later than the fifth week of class (4thweek for 14-week and 12-week classes, 3rd week for an 8-week class).
  4. Students will meet (at least once) after the proposal has been accepted to discuss data collection, data analysis, and any difficulties the student may be having (e.g. what to include in the discussion section of the paper). This meeting must take place by the 10thweek of class (by the 8thweek for a 14-week class, by the 7th week for a 12 week class, and by the 6th week for an 8 week class)

5.Students will submit a completed paper using formal APA format for an experimental investigation.  This includes:

  • Abstract
  • Literature review
  • Discussion of procedures and the research methodology
  • Analysis of the data
  • Discussion of the results
  • References
  • Appendix (if appropriate)

The final paper must be completed and turned in by the end of the 13th week of class for a full semester class, by the end of the 10th week for a 14 week class, by the 9th week for a 12 week class, and the 7th week for an 8 week class.

 Honor's credit will be awarded if the student earns a minimum of a 3.0 in the class overall, and a minimum of 81% on both the research proposal and the final research paper.  Failure to meet either of these criteria will result in no honor's credit being awarded.  The honor’s credit is independent of the final course grade.

Students should be aware that conducting honors research is an extremely demanding undertaking, both in terms of time and effort.  It requires students to review and integrate a substantial body of theoretical and experimental literature, as well as demonstrate the ability to devise and execute an original research project.  Moreover, students must be able to clearly communicate their ideas in a professional-style scientific manuscript.  Students who choose this option must be extremely motivated, organized, and self-sufficient.